Carl Hopgood’s Powerful Neon Sculptures Acquired by Beth Rudin DeWoody, One of America’s Most Celebrated Art Collectors
Originally from Wales, sculptor and video/installation artist Carl Hopgood earned his BFA from London’s Goldsmiths College. He has shown from New York to Australia and all over Europe. In 2015, Hopgood relocated to Los Angeles’ Hollywood Hills, where he continues to find inspiration in his surroundings.
Hopgood’s most recent exhibition, at Beverly Hills’ UTA Artist Space this summer, combined new and existing works of neon (the first time ever exhibited in this gallery), found objects, and video to explore the themes of identity, masculinity, and today’s socio-political climate. The exhibition, Fragile World (curated by Arthur Lewis), drew in the gallery’s largest-ever attendance.
Following the success of Fragile World, well-known art collector and curator Beth Rudin DeWoody made the move to acquire one of Hopgood’s most talked-about pieces: a neon assemblage sculpture titled “Just Say Gay.” Hopgood created the piece in response to Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, now in effect, which bans discussion of sexual orientation in schools. “Just Say Gay” will soon be on display at DeWoody’s West Palm Beach gallery The Bunker.
Hopgood has also announced that private members gym Dogpound has acquired another one of his neon works, “My Pain Today Is My Strength Tomorrow,” which will go on display this fall. The idea for this piece came to Hopgood while driving past stores that had caught fire in North Hollywood during the pandemic; everything had burned to the ground except for some burned chairs. The piece offers an affirmation to stay hopeful in challenging times.
“You Think You Buried Me But I Was A Seed” is another work from Hopgood’s Fragile World exhibition. The title of this piece was inspired by a quote from poet Dinos Christianopoulos (“‘What didn’t you do to bury me, but you forgot that I was a seed”), who was sidelined by the Greek literary community in the 1970s for being gay. Hopgood is currently working on a series of other ladders with different messages of hope and survival, which will be on display in the California desert next year.
Hopgood is also currently in production of a short film called Fragile World, in collaboration with UTA Artist Space. The film will take viewers through the lead up to Hopgood’s UTA exhibition, the opening night of Fragile World, and the upcoming installation of “Just Say Gay” at The Bunker.